^{27} It might appear that even if people start out deserving +100, they could misbehave and thereby lower their desert levels to +1. Then they could receive +1 and enhance the value of the world. If there were enough people, it might seem that they could somehow manage to raise the value of the world to the point where it exceeds the value of the A world. Could this happen? If it could happen, would a world in which it happens be better than the A world? What does the proposed axiology say about such a world? These questions are far more complex than they may at first appear to be. In order to make them somewhat more manageable, we can view the issue from the perspective of a little game. The game represents (in a very simplified form) the value-theoretic problem. Can the players behave in such a way as to make the value of their world very high, even though each of them has low desert and low receipt?

Rules of the game:

Any number of people can play. The play progresses in rounds. In each round, each player is permitted to make one move. A player can either (a) inflict some amount of pain on someone; or (b) inflict some amount of pleasure on someone.

Scoring: Each player has two scores – a receipt level (RL) and a desert level (DL). At the beginning of play, each player's DL = +100. Furthermore, the world has a score, or IV level. At the outset IV = 0.

Changing your score: there are several ways in which you can change your score.

a. If you inflict n units of pleasure on someone who has positive DL, your DL goes up by n/2 units; his RL goes up by n units; his DL goes down by n units; and IV goes up by 2n units.

b. If you inflict n units of pleasure on someone who has negative DL, your DL remains constant; his RL goes up by n units; his DL remains constant; and IV goes down by n/2 units.

c. If you inflict n units of pain on someone who has positive DL, your DL goes down by n/2 units; his RL goes down by n units; his DL goes up by n units; and IV goes down by 2n units.

d. If you inflict n units of pain on someone who has negative DL, your DL remains constant; his RL goes down by n units; his DL goes up by n units; and IV remains constant.

I think it would be very costly for the world's IV for players in this game to try to get their DL down to +1. Here is one way they could do it: in the first round each player could inflict 198 units of pain on a deserving person. Then (rule c) each person's DL would go down by 198/2, or 99. Thus each player would have DL = +1. The cost to the world would be (2 × 198 × the number of players). Suppose there are 10 players. Then at the end of round 1, IV = –5,960. In round 2, each player could inflict 1 unit of pleasure on someone who deserves 1 unit of pleasure. In this case, IV would go up by (2 × 1 × 10), or 20 pts. IV = –5,940.

At the end of round 2, each player would have DL = 0. Inflicting pleasure on others will be less valuable for the world in this case. [Sorry, no rules for this case.] Let us say its worth n/2 for the world. If it makes their DLs go negative, then further inflictions of pleasure will start to make IV get *smaller* (rule b).

There is another way in which players could reduce their DLs to +1. They could enjoy deserved pleasures. Let us suppose that each player starts out with DL = +100, and then enjoys +99. Then (rule a) each player's DL goes down to +1. At that point, each player could receive +1. My theory then implies that IV is extremely high. (Suppressing certain complexities, we can see that each player started out deserving +100, and received +100. If there are a billion billion players, IV = two hundred billion billion.) However, it seems quite clear to me that the imagined world would in fact be extraordinarily good, and so I am delighted that the axiology gives it such a high IV.

Moral of this story: it is hard to see how there can be a world that strikes our intuitions as being very bad, in which each resident deserves +1 and receives +1, and IV is extremely high.